Routine Little Plays

Jonathan Willis
January 03 2014 01:24AM

Dallas Eakins hung much of Edmonton's 5-1 loss to San Jose on the second goal against, but for my money it's the Sharks' third tally that really deserves attention because it shows how even good players doing smart things can get exposed.

The Shift

First, a little bit of backstory. Six minutes into the second period, Ryan Smyth dumps the puck into the San Jose zone and both the forwards and defence change. Coming on to the ice is the first line of Taylor Hall (4), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) and David Perron (57) as well as the top defence pairing of Andrew Ference (21) and Justin Schultz (19).

Because of the change San Jose has an unopposed breakout and Dan Boyle (22 for San Jose) goes for the long pass along the far boards to Patrick Marleau (12 for San Jose) waiting at the Edmonton blue line.

Perron gets across the ice quickly enough to break up the pass, which means Marleau doesn’t get a clean possession and the puck ends up getting stuck at the line:

Edmonton’s in good shape here. Schultz and Perron got over quickly, as did Nugent-Hopkins. Off camera supporting that trio is Ference. So even with Marleau, Thornton (19 for San Jose) and Matthew Nieto (83 for San Jose) there’s nothing to worry about yet.

San Jose wins the two-on-two along the boards enough to get the puck deep and then outmans Schultz in the corner. How does a two-on-two turn into a two-on-one? Nugent-Hopkins had slid up ice to receive a pass if Edmonton had won the two-on-two and Ference had opted to guard the front of the net while it was just an even battle between Schultz and Marleau. But Nieto got on his horse immediately while Perron waited at the line. The predictable result is that San Jose wins the puck and works it back to the blue line.

The Sharks’ defence changed after Boyle’s breakout pass, so Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44 for San Jose) gets the puck and passes it over to partner Justin Braun (61) for a shot into traffic at the front of the net. So far things have worked out well for the Sharks – clean breakout, won battle at the line, won 2-on-1 in the corner – and it all culminates in this shot. But Hall gets his stick in the lane and instead of a hard shot into traffic the puck flubs into the slot, where Nugent-Hopkins is able to work it to the boards.

Hall and Nieto tie up, Ference has Thornton, and Nugent-Hopkins has possession of the puck with a bit of time and space. Ference will box out Thornton, Hall will move up the boards so that Nugent-Hopkins has an option and Perron will move out of the zone to give Hall one.

But that’s not how it works. Nugent-Hopkins turns it over to Nieto, Thornton picks the puck up and tries the pass to Joe Pavelski (8 for San Jose), who has come on the ice for Marleau.

Fortunately for Edmonton, the pass doesn’t work and Perron comes back to pick it up at the blue line, with Thornton and Pavelski in hot pursuit (Nieto has gone to the bench, meaning that despite good pressure San Jose has managed to change four of five skaters in the 30 seconds since Smyth’s dump-in). Perron skates the puck back into the Oilers zone and then coolly flips it to Ference, who has nobody near him.

Pavelski wastes no time in skating in on Ference, so Ference makes the low-risk play, banking the puck off the endboards to Schultz. Unfortunately Schultz misjudges the pass and the puck ends up on Joe Thornton’s stick.

I’ve noted the location of Ference and Nieto’s replacement Brent Burns (88 for San Jose) even though they’re off-screen to show Edmonton’s defensive system working. Schultz missed the pass but he blocks Thornton’s lane to the net, and Nugent-Hopkins correctly reads the situation and moves immediately to get to Burns while Ference goes to the front of the net to take Pavelski. It’s never a good thing for Joe Thornton to have the puck like this, but the Oilers actually do a nice job of responding.

Nugent-Hopkins’ quick action prevents a clean pass and he chips the puck ahead to Perron. Danger averted?

Unfortunately for Perron, the puck bounces on him and Burns, backchecking hard, is able to push him off it. Pavelski picks the puck up, and he and Thornton try to overwhelm Schultz at the blue line. To his credit, Schultz stands his ground and prevents a Sharks’ entry.

With the entry blocked, conventional wisdom would be to dump the puck in. Thornton has other ideas and loops back, and suddenly the Sharks have a nice, clean zone entry. Nugent-Hopkins had hurried back to backstop Schultz and Andrew Ference had similarly fallen off the blue line. With Hall forced to be wary of the Sharks’ defence, Burns and Thornton can basically stroll in with possession whenever they want now. I should also mention at this point that Vlasic has shifted off in favour of Matt Irwin (52 for San Jose).

Perron actually does a really nice job getting over to harass Thornton, Nugent-Hopkins jumps up to the line and Hall backs down. It makes what might have been an easy entry difficult, but Thornton manages to get the puck over to Braun on the far side and he has a clear lane now.

Braun has the puck and no great options but he makes a pretty decent choice, taking a bad angle shot past Ference (who doesn’t quite cut-off the shooting lane) in the hopes that the puck will rebound to Pavelski. It’s a low probability play because of Ference and Schultz and in this case Schultz is able to pick off the rebound and put it to Perron but it’s a nice simple move for Braun and if the puck had bounced on Schultz it might have paid off.

Perron skates the puck to the boards and then tries to bank it out to centre. Unfortunately for him, Thornton circles around to Braun’s position at the point and cuts the play off. Thornton plays it across to Pavelski, who skates it into the corner while his linemates change. James Sheppard (15 for San Jose) and Andrew Desjardins (10 for San Jose) come on the ice and Pavelski cycles the puck down to a charging Sheppard before heading off the ice for a change himself to allow Bracken Kearns (38 for San Jose) to come on the ice.

Ference seems leery of leaving the front of the net until Schultz can get back, which allows Sheppard to take the puck unopposed. To his credit, as soon as Ference can hand off the role he rushes to the boards to challenge Sheppard and he’s even able to gain the puck and kick it free. It doesn’t matter, though, because a gassed Nugent-Hopkins (he’s 1:10 into his shift; this is the Sharks’ third line in that same span) gets tangled up a little with Schultz and is easily beaten to the puck by Desjardins.

 

Nugent-Hopkins may be gassed, but he’s not quitting on the play; he blocks a cross-ice pass from Desjardins to a dangerous and fresh Scott Hannan (27 for San Jose). Hall and Schultz are both standing between Hannan and the net but neither is really doing anything useful; if not for Nugent-Hopkins block Hannan would have been in great shape to wire that puck home.

Nugent-Hopkins can’t control the puck in his skates, though, and on his third try Desjardins knocks it over to Bracken Kearns.

The results are predictable.

What Happened?

There’s a lot going on, but the funny thing is how many times there was solid effort from Oilers players and good defensive awareness. Perron and Hall and Nugent-Hopkins and Ference and Schultz all do lots of things right on this shift. Unfortunately for Edmonton, however, there were lapses. Let’s review:

  • On the initial entry, a two-on-two gets lost and turns into a Sharks dump-in. That’ll happen; it’s not a critical error.
  • More troubling is Perron getting beat back into the zone by Nieto, leaving Schultz fighting off two Sharks attackers. Given that Perron had skated hard to breakup San Jose’s initial breakout pass, likely this is just a lapse of concentration rather than an effort problem.
  • Hall makes a nice defensive play and those little problems are negated. At which point Nugent-Hopkins turns the puck over. But Edmonton gets lucky and the puck goes to Perron, who puts it out of danger.
  • And then we have another turnover. Schultz misreads a routine bank pass, and Thornton collects the puck.
  • More nice work without the puck by Edmonton, but just as it looks like they’re out of trouble the puck bounces on Perron, which eventually leads to a low-quality Sharks’ shot.
  • Our third turnover. Perron tries to keep it simple and just bank the puck off the boards; it’s picked off.
  • Ference wins a one-on-one puck battle but at this point fatigue is setting in and Nugent-Hopkins can’t get there in time; the one-on-one turns into another one-on-two and San Jose gains possession again.
  • Nobody picks up Kearns and there’s a goal against.

Turnovers and ultimately fatigue kill Edmonton on this shift. But it’s not really a case of guys being too fancy; these are routine breakdowns. Nugent-Hopkins can’t make a pass quickly enough. Schultz misreads a simple bank pass. Perron’s simple bank clear gets picked off.

The funny thing is that up until the very end when nobody picks up Hannan or Kearns, these guys all do a pretty nice job of defending without the puck. They also do a nice job of engaging in puck battles. But they make a bunch of simple mistakes on simple plays, and eventually getting trapped catches up to a team.

San Jose, incidentally, does something the Oilers need to learn on offence, something that has nothing to do with size or strength: They make quick changes. When there’s an opportunity to switch personnel without losing possession, they take it every time. That, more than brute force, is what wears Edmonton down here.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 **
January 03 2014, 02:37AM
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Even when Yak scores he gets criticized, is that enough proof that Eakins is trying to be smart by deflecting all the attention towards Yakupov?. Don't buy his bull, he thinks he is smart but he is starting to show his true colors, he's pathetic. What coach says before the game that they are intimidated by the guys they're about to square off against?.

Fire this bozo!!!

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#2 Walter Sobchak
January 03 2014, 02:16AM
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" the top defence pairing of Andrew Ference (21) and Justin Schultz (19)."

It's so sad it's funny!!

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#3 mlselli
January 03 2014, 03:57AM
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We have won 13 games and are in 29th place under the direction of the guy that is going to do wonders for the Oilers. Eakins, the skinny little weasel needs to be given the hook. I am so over this big mouth asshat and all the bullish!t he fed us right out of the gate. When is he going to take accountability? He is no more qualified to coach an NHL team than I am.

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#4 nick
January 03 2014, 07:53AM
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Can someone please tell me the last time they have seen an NHL coach call a time out and just stand behind the bench and stare into space? Why would any player want to play for this idiot. If I was the GM of this team after that display I am giving him the thanks for coming out speech and we wish you well in your future endeavors. Eakins is the biggest mistake this franchise has made in years and they have made some bad ones. MacTavish hired a moron and we are seeing the results. Doesn't have a clue about line match ups and there is not a game where he is not out coached badly. I realize the Oilers have a lot of holes to plug but you can't tell me the players that are here play their hearts out for the coach. Well maybe the ones that have no consequences to their continual puck turnover parade do but other than that the number 1 problem with this team is it is horrendously coached.

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#5 6 ring circus
January 03 2014, 09:44AM
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Does anyone really believe that Lowe,Howson,Mactavish and Eakins will be able to build a competitive and winning team ?

Props if you don't, Trash if you do

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#6 camdog
January 03 2014, 09:59AM
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@He Who Knows

Mact had Brown and Smid to start the season, but traded them because he didn't value their grit.

This is quite common with Mact. For reference when Glencross went to the Flames Mact said players like Glencross are a dime a dozen. However what's odd about that statement is that since Glencross left the organisation the Oilers haven't even been able to replace what he brought and he's been gone for eons.

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#7 Rob...
January 03 2014, 08:24AM
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How does such a big goalie consistently cover so little of the net?

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#8 Kr55
January 03 2014, 01:35AM
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Good read. However, the only goals against that matter these days in Oilerland are ones Yak can be blamed for.

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#9 The Real Scuba Steve
January 03 2014, 04:49AM
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hemi wrote:

Sweet Lord, we are bad hockey team. It has become difficult to even sit through an entire game these days. Pure garbage!

So, when does Lowe, Mac-T or heaven forbid, the elusive Owner come out of their protective covers and address the fact that their efforts thus far have proven useless. I honestly see no way out of this mess anytime soon. The once Mighty Oil has become the laughing stock of the league and even more so than the laughable leafs. Regrettably, I no longer poke fun at the leafs, it would be highly hypocritical of me to do so with the Oil’s pathetic performances these past years.

Will Katz finally speak out about the dismal state of this team? For a man of his success, I am in total shock of his apparent contentment with the status of the team since his purchase. Surely he cannot endorse what has been happening to this organization, can he?

From a winning and very respected organization to pure crap. It is more than coaching problems I fear. Very sad!

I'm starting to think Katz is the worst thing to happen to this team.

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#10 Drowning in Oil
January 03 2014, 08:05AM
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Looking forward to listening to the positive spin the media puts on last nights game. Stauffer, after swallowing his hotdog will tell us to recall how he was the only one in the world to predict something. Hockey related or not, he seems to need to build himself up at least once a show. Gregor will probably tell us about the .500 record we have had against San Jose. Like that has any relevance to this year. Im certain the papers will jump on Yak because he let this team down.... Again. BUT HEY, AS LONG AS THE MEDIA LOBS THOSE SOFTBALLS FOR EAKINS. HE IS ONE HELL OF A COACH!

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#11 hemi
January 03 2014, 04:30AM
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Sweet Lord, we are bad hockey team. It has become difficult to even sit through an entire game these days. Pure garbage!

So, when does Lowe, Mac-T or heaven forbid, the elusive Owner come out of their protective covers and address the fact that their efforts thus far have proven useless. I honestly see no way out of this mess anytime soon. The once Mighty Oil has become the laughing stock of the league and even more so than the laughable leafs. Regrettably, I no longer poke fun at the leafs, it would be highly hypocritical of me to do so with the Oil’s pathetic performances these past years.

Will Katz finally speak out about the dismal state of this team? For a man of his success, I am in total shock of his apparent contentment with the status of the team since his purchase. Surely he cannot endorse what has been happening to this organization, can he?

From a winning and very respected organization to pure crap. It is more than coaching problems I fear. Very sad!

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#12 Sisyphus
January 03 2014, 06:19AM
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I just feel bad for the Oilers and fans at this point. Not only has this organization been horrifically mismanaged over the past several years, all signs point to little or no improvement over the next 3-4 years.

This team doesn't know how to win, and at this point, they've gotten so used to losing, and losing BADLY, that its "normal" for them. Frankly, I think that to fix it, you'd have to literally blow up half of the team, including parts that people really don't want to let go of, and bring in a bunch of veteran players, enough to outnumber the losers in the room.

Or we can just wait until the 2015-2016 season, when Yak has gone back to the KHL and Hall has had enough of this ish and asks for a trade to anywhere else in the league

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#13 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 08:12AM
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Drowning in Oil wrote:

Looking forward to listening to the positive spin the media puts on last nights game. Stauffer, after swallowing his hotdog will tell us to recall how he was the only one in the world to predict something. Hockey related or not, he seems to need to build himself up at least once a show. Gregor will probably tell us about the .500 record we have had against San Jose. Like that has any relevance to this year. Im certain the papers will jump on Yak because he let this team down.... Again. BUT HEY, AS LONG AS THE MEDIA LOBS THOSE SOFTBALLS FOR EAKINS. HE IS ONE HELL OF A COACH!

There is no question that the media in EDM are collectively a group of management lapdogs. By simple way of comparison that is obvious:

Imagine if this was the NYR or PHI we were talking about. Eakins and company would be torn to shreds by now.

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#14 Wintoon
January 03 2014, 06:00AM
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The "Katz Era" of Oilers hockey has been a disaster. It has been so bad you almost think it has all been done on purpose.

Well, maybe it has. Maybe Katz has instructed Lowe to bottom feed until the new arena is built. That way fans can jump on the bandwagon for both the team and the arena at the same time.

But then again, maybe Katz and Lowe aren't really as bright as we might give them credit for and they are both less than competent in their respective roles. I vote for the second option.

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#15 Puck JammeR!
January 03 2014, 10:44AM
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If you're still watching Oilers games at this point you deserve the pain you feel

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#16 spliff
January 03 2014, 10:54AM
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Just read Bruce McCurdy's piece in the Journal,and it raises some good points. Especially, that if things go like this for much longer, then MacT and Eakins have undoubtedly failed in their roles this year. MacT can spin it any way he wants, and give BS soundbites where he talks about "messaging" and "going forward" and "staying the course."

Its is quite obvious to anyone with any hockey intelligence, that Lowe, MacT and Howson are amateurs, and their arrogance has blinded them to the failures that they are. There is no easy fix to the sh*tshow that this group of managers has created, and I can't see this team taking a serious run at a playoff spot, let alone a cup run, for at least 3 - 4 years. That means most likely, 12 years or longer or non-playoff hockey, which will set an NHL record for longest playoff drought in the leagues long history. Unbelievable.

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#17 Anton
January 03 2014, 02:53AM
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The case of constant coaching change is the issue for Oilers lack of consistency, however that we should review the last few coaching changes and what actually happened. We start off from MacTavish, he was the bench boss for few years before was being let go. He was just the scapegoat for KLowe at the time because of all the bad signings by him and have a collectively a bad team. Later Quinn and Renney were both hired at the same time, but Renney was the original favor to take over the coaching job. Quinn was sacked because he wasn't really the first choice to begin with. Renney took over the job and was the bench boss for 2 years, that was a year longer than he needs to be. There were the cases for firing a coach too early or too late, Quinn was too early, Renney was too late. Follow by Kruger was too early and now, we are going to have a coach will likely be fired too late. For the last 3 coaches that Oilers had, Quinn was unable to adapt, Renney was too soft on players, Kruger was actually have the team looks like heading toward the right direction but was fired because the new manager wants a new coach. Now, Eakins is just uninspired to be bother. How did Avalanche were so awfully bad last year but with a rookie coach like Roy that they look like a contender with very little change to the roster? He showed us why on his first game against Ducks, even when his team is blowing the opponent out that he will still get fired up by any misconduct toward his players. He almost killed Boudreau for it. If the coach is emotional and care for his players then especially the young players will be playing hard for his coach every single day. When Eakins named a new comer Ference as the new captain that actually will discourage young players because the certain lack of trust on the current rosters to have any kind of leadership. What is the major difference between both young rosters, bad records and new coaches of Avalanche and Oilers?

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#18 Ari Gold
January 03 2014, 04:18AM
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So glad I'm not watching anymore. ON provides all the news and spin I need.

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#19 FireKLowe
January 03 2014, 12:34PM
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Hey Willis, how about dissecting the coach and his assistants' performance during the game? Do you ever see Eakins show any emotion whatsoever? Did you see how they just stood there during the timeout? A good coach would be trying to motivate his players and trying to light a fire under their collective a$$es!

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#20 MessyEH!
January 03 2014, 04:41AM
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hemi wrote:

Sweet Lord, we are bad hockey team. It has become difficult to even sit through an entire game these days. Pure garbage!

So, when does Lowe, Mac-T or heaven forbid, the elusive Owner come out of their protective covers and address the fact that their efforts thus far have proven useless. I honestly see no way out of this mess anytime soon. The once Mighty Oil has become the laughing stock of the league and even more so than the laughable leafs. Regrettably, I no longer poke fun at the leafs, it would be highly hypocritical of me to do so with the Oil’s pathetic performances these past years.

Will Katz finally speak out about the dismal state of this team? For a man of his success, I am in total shock of his apparent contentment with the status of the team since his purchase. Surely he cannot endorse what has been happening to this organization, can he?

From a winning and very respected organization to pure crap. It is more than coaching problems I fear. Very sad!

Katz doesn't care. He is making money, and his kid thinks he's cool. And Robin... ah i mean Lowe is doing a great job. New arena, Sold out games. Anti-depressent sales are up.

Win all around for Batman.

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#21 Spydyr
January 03 2014, 09:04AM
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Weak owner

Weak President

Weak GM

Weak coaches

Weak scouts

Weak players.

See a pattern.No wonder they are a perennial lotto team.

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#22 John
January 03 2014, 09:40AM
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I have been a fan of the Oilers for over 30 years now but for the first time in my life I'm ready to call it quits. We've all been through rough patches over the decades as fans of the various incarnations of this franchise but this is the first time I've felt there's no future to look forward to. I can no longer defend my childhood team against the merciless attacks & judgements from all the Flame, Maple Leaf, &Canucks fans in my life. Let's face it, there are no valid points or "Just you wait..." jabs that can be hurled back at them with any sort of conviction or belief anymore.

I'm am truly embarrassed to call myself an Oiler fan for the first time & the whole point of being a fan is for the entertainment value & pride of supporting a team of players who deserves to be supported ... isn't it ?

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#23 MessyEH!
January 03 2014, 03:35AM
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Anton wrote:

The case of constant coaching change is the issue for Oilers lack of consistency, however that we should review the last few coaching changes and what actually happened. We start off from MacTavish, he was the bench boss for few years before was being let go. He was just the scapegoat for KLowe at the time because of all the bad signings by him and have a collectively a bad team. Later Quinn and Renney were both hired at the same time, but Renney was the original favor to take over the coaching job. Quinn was sacked because he wasn't really the first choice to begin with. Renney took over the job and was the bench boss for 2 years, that was a year longer than he needs to be. There were the cases for firing a coach too early or too late, Quinn was too early, Renney was too late. Follow by Kruger was too early and now, we are going to have a coach will likely be fired too late. For the last 3 coaches that Oilers had, Quinn was unable to adapt, Renney was too soft on players, Kruger was actually have the team looks like heading toward the right direction but was fired because the new manager wants a new coach. Now, Eakins is just uninspired to be bother. How did Avalanche were so awfully bad last year but with a rookie coach like Roy that they look like a contender with very little change to the roster? He showed us why on his first game against Ducks, even when his team is blowing the opponent out that he will still get fired up by any misconduct toward his players. He almost killed Boudreau for it. If the coach is emotional and care for his players then especially the young players will be playing hard for his coach every single day. When Eakins named a new comer Ference as the new captain that actually will discourage young players because the certain lack of trust on the current rosters to have any kind of leadership. What is the major difference between both young rosters, bad records and new coaches of Avalanche and Oilers?

It's because Roy knows a thing, or two, about winning.

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#24 Oil Is My Blood
January 03 2014, 09:05AM
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To Everyone that posts,

The Oilers woes are not hte fault of the players, or the coaches, or the management team, or even the owners. No, it is entirely the fault of the fans. Specifically, fans that buy tickets, concessions and souvenirs. It should be quite obvious to everyone that the objective of a professional hockey team is not to win, but to make money! If we, the fans, stop the revenue stream, the rest will take care of itself.

Stop spending money to support the Oilers. Drink Labatt's, not Molson's, eat Pizza 73, not Boston Pizza, etc. Go to an Edmonton Rush game, or the U of A Bears.

This approach is also a long, long road to getting the team back into the playoffs, but it will be, far and away, the most effective.

If you can't make the change yourself, why should the Oilers??

Before you start trashing and dissing me as an Oilers' hater (or Flames fan), please note that my handle is TOTALLY accurate. I've been a ticketholder since 2004-2005, including this year, but no more until they get to the playoffs.

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#25 bumblebpete
January 03 2014, 11:13AM
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Rob... wrote:

How does such a big goalie consistently cover so little of the net?

This is a good question?

The answer is a 6'5" goalie drops to his knees almost every time a puck is shot at him.

The result is; the puck goes over the now 4'5" goalie's shoulder, under the cross bar and in to the top of the net.

Surely I'm not the only one who notices this happening on a regular basis.

The other teams in the league see it, because that is why they "coach" their players to shoot at the top of the net.

Do we have a goalie coach and if we do, is he blind?

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#26 moog's helmet
January 03 2014, 09:50AM
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I agree with a lot of the sentiment here. Just because you've had a bunch of different coaches doesn't mean you keep a bad one. Part of being a good GM is quickly recognizing your mistakes and correcting them. Eakins has come in with almost a Brian Burke level of stubbornness and arrogance only to learn he was wrong about most of what he held to be absolute truths. The team has clearly regressed under Eakins. I'm getting really tired of management talking about the process being on track. This is not on track. Stop preaching patience and talking about the pipeline of players coming along. It's patronizing. Every team thinks they have some great prospects. MacTavish was supposed to come in and wipe away Tambellini's reign of idiocy with some intelligence and transparency but his media avails lately have been the same nonsense as his predecessor.

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#27 Bryzarro World
January 03 2014, 10:06AM
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Dave wrote:

I keep on hoping that I get a "news flash" that announces that Eakins has been fired.

If that happens I will be down at Sherlock Holmes pub buying the bar a round. Come down for a drink!

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#28 Sisyphys
January 03 2014, 06:33AM
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Honest question here--and I want answers free from delusion, free from "what I really wish could happen but know its not realistic" answers:

How do you fix this? Where do you start? Even assuming you get a new GM, and a new head coach (yet another new system to learn, which sets things back for at least another entire season)....I don't know how you fix this in a real way.

There are so many holes, and so many issues with the player personnel that we already have on the team, that it makes fixing it, even with a good GM and a good coach, a very hard and long road. You cannot trade pieces of crap players for the solid players a contender needs. Yet you can't trade away the very few good players you do have, since you'll plug some holes and open up new ones in their place.

Genuine prediction here--the Oilers beat the playoff drought record, and its at least 2016-17 before there are even any glimpse of being considered a "good" team. I mean, consider this--all the fan boards now are talking about prospects who are coming down the pipeline. If that's all you have to look forward to, batten down the hatches and prepare for a lot more pain and embarrassment

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#29 Cynic
January 03 2014, 10:38AM
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Spending 15 diagrams on a single goal in a 5-1 loss in a franchise-worst season is like trying to pin Nickelback's crapitude on the bassist coming in late on their third song during a concert at Rexall. Just go with the shorter version: They blow. And then distract the fans by talking about 5 Corgis on a Fenwick zone start.

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#30 Nowuknow
January 03 2014, 02:14AM
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accountability should start from the owner of the team and downwards. If not you get what you have!!!! As a leader of household,you set the rules to be followed and every one should obey them including the legistilator. In other words, when 6rings continues to make a change on the coaches, with no improvement on win column. The owner should say may be you are the issue!!! the tire one supporters should be accountable toountil then, do not talk about accountiblity or play offs.....

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#31 MessyEH!
January 03 2014, 06:50AM
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I have said this before. But here goes. The only way to fill the holes that we have is by trading Eberle and Gagner. They have not improved there defensive games such.

Maybe we can trade Gagner and Eberle for Seguin and Horcoff.

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#32 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 07:59AM
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nick wrote:

Can someone please tell me the last time they have seen an NHL coach call a time out and just stand behind the bench and stare into space? Why would any player want to play for this idiot. If I was the GM of this team after that display I am giving him the thanks for coming out speech and we wish you well in your future endeavors. Eakins is the biggest mistake this franchise has made in years and they have made some bad ones. MacTavish hired a moron and we are seeing the results. Doesn't have a clue about line match ups and there is not a game where he is not out coached badly. I realize the Oilers have a lot of holes to plug but you can't tell me the players that are here play their hearts out for the coach. Well maybe the ones that have no consequences to their continual puck turnover parade do but other than that the number 1 problem with this team is it is horrendously coached.

Did that really happen? If so, WOW.

I mostly listened to the game on ched - and it was very clear from stauffers comments and tone that he is pissed at Eakins both for the lame presser he did pre-game and for how the team played.

Perhaps cracks are starting to form in the management wall that protects Eakins?

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#33 The Funky Chicken Has Left The Building
January 03 2014, 10:11AM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

If that happens I will be down at Sherlock Holmes pub buying the bar a round. Come down for a drink!

Here here...a toast to 'Chopping Wood and Carrying Water'!!

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#34 Bryzarro World
January 03 2014, 10:13AM
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Katz the savior has become Katz the destroyer. Screw him and that Ronald Mcdonald clone! I've seen people that care more about the deuce they just dropped than Katz the clown cares about this team.

Let this idiot move the F&*K out of here and we can get another team here by the time the arena is built. Tell me what struggling team wouldn't want to come play here? Kick Katz and his moronic minions the hell out!!

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#35 j
January 03 2014, 08:31AM
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A legitimate 1-2 defense pairing will cure a great deal of what ails the oilers. Every current defenseman is playing above his pay grade which has a domino effect throughout the lineup. There is no way that Hall and Nuge can play against the best players in the league and succeed without having world class defenders behind them. Every little mistake ends up in the net (at least with Dubby playing) and the spotlight glares on the kids. A good 1-2 pairing eliminate ice, kill the cycle, can exit the zone via pass or skate, and can box out the best and biggest in the game. We can scream at the forwards all we want but it really is pointless because they are working 35% harder than any other first line in hockey because of the player quality behind them. (Note: 35% is a completely made up stat. No statisticians were injured in the making of this post).

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#36 Dave
January 03 2014, 09:58AM
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I keep on hoping that I get a "news flash" that announces that Eakins has been fired.

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#37 mlselli
January 03 2014, 08:29AM
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I think this team has really opened the eyes of the fans in that we no longer over value the players like we once did a short time ago. I think we also realize that some of these guys are no longer untouchable, and we are now willing to see a few get traded, so we can get better. As a result of the standings, and the many coaching changes going from bad to worse, over the last few seasons, the Management is going to have to overpay in a huge way to get experience and size to sigh here. By my eye, i can see 10 players and both goalies gone on or before July 1/14. Crazy,sad and unreal.

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#38 Bryzarro World
January 03 2014, 10:18AM
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JOHN wrote:

YOU ARE A MORON

This has to be the worst self confidence speech ever given into a mirror in the morning.

Dude, try saying "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and dog gone it, people like me" when you face that mirror in the morning! Trust me, you'll feel better about your life...

If it doesn't work, well, go F&*K yourself...

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#39 nick
January 03 2014, 11:23AM
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NHLPA wrote:

Thank the good Lord for No Trade Contracts. Those of us who have them will be spared exile to Edmonton and the consummate cluster _ _ _ _ that is the Oiler organization.

I think the main reason NTC were icorporated into players contracts is so that the players could veto any trade to Edmonton and this clown show of a management team. How bad to you think David Perron wishes he had that NTC now. There is not a decent player out there with a NTC that would accept a trade to this circus.

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#40 Sisyphus
January 03 2014, 06:57AM
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MessyEH! wrote:

I have said this before. But here goes. The only way to fill the holes that we have is by trading Eberle and Gagner. They have not improved there defensive games such.

Maybe we can trade Gagner and Eberle for Seguin and Horcoff.

Do you seriously believe Gagner has any trade value right now? Let alone enough to be combined with Eberle for that package?

I'm sorry, but given his upcoming NTC and contract, combined with his play this year, has made him all but untradeable for anything other than "future considerations".

Ebs, he might get you a truly good player back. One, nothing more. We just don't have many tradable assets (which I consider assets we would be willing to part with that another team would want to have).

We have plenty that we'd want to part with, but what team in the league wants to make a trade for a player who is bad on one of the worst teams in the league--bad player, on a bad team, means a player who would look even worse on another, better team

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#41 NHLPA
January 03 2014, 07:51AM
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Thank the good Lord for No Trade Contracts. Those of us who have them will be spared exile to Edmonton and the consummate cluster _ _ _ _ that is the Oiler organization.

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#42 Nowuknow
January 03 2014, 02:46AM
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** wrote:

here's a montage formt he oilers season so far:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XExum0-u8wI

Exactly as planned!

6 rings

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#43 Oaster
January 03 2014, 03:32AM
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Johnny Willis, that was a damn good read! I like these break downs of the break downs. I wasn't going to comment, but then the show Oil Change is mentioned. Now it's interesting idea for the fans, but that crap has to end. All the 24/7 shows before the Winter classic are labelled as "curses" maybe it’s time the Oilers scrap this knock off HBO show. Not everyone wants to be on TV or have their lives shown to thousands of people (potentially) what’s the worst that can happen?

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#44 loweblows
January 03 2014, 10:12AM
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Maybe MacT's first bold move will be firing all the coaching staff. Irony on a cold dish.

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#45 Arius Mumin
January 03 2014, 10:25AM
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What came first: chicken or the egg? Props for egg, Trash for chicken.

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#46 2004Z06
January 03 2014, 10:39AM
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Same crap, different day. Don't you get tired of blaming the coach, Lowe, Katz and the lack of a decent defenseman day after day after day after day?

I used to visit this site daily, but frankly it's become lame, repetitive and a waste of bandwidth.

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#47 oil fan in calgary
January 03 2014, 09:50AM
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ive stopped watching. i feel better and drink less.

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#48 Brian
January 03 2014, 10:09AM
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Dave wrote:

I keep on hoping that I get a "news flash" that announces that Eakins has been fired.

You'll read that "news flash" coincident with the resignation of KSlow. In other words, don't count on it Buddy.

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#49 aeiouY
January 03 2014, 11:57AM
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@camdog

fair enough....

the alternative is to move him to the wing. Gags is killing whatever line he is on at center. maybe he can get some confidence back on the wing.

On a totally seperate matter, check out the post game interview of yakupov on edmontonoilers.com today.

it is shocking how far this kids confidence has fallen under this coaching staff. this is the same guy that was staring directly into the camera a year ago talking about beating the canadian jr team... now he can't keep his eyes off of the floor and all he can talk about is mistakes he is making.

something has to change in that locker room

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#50 Zamboni Driver
January 03 2014, 01:08PM
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Oh this is the best news ever.

Have we heard about the call up?

A defenceman named "Brad" or "Bob" or something. Who cares what his name is, really?

The important piece.

HE IS FIVE FOOT F-ING NINE.

I swear to god I think the braintrust needs to step away from the bong (or propecia in K-Lowe's case) from time to time.

5'9".

Hilarious.

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